Today, Tom's guest is Steve Luxenberg, a longtime associate editor at The Washington Post. His latest book, Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation, chronicles the events that led up to the landmark 1896 Supreme Court ruling.
In 1892, Homer Plessy, a young black musician who often passed for white, boarded a train in New Orleans, and was arrested when he sat in the whites-only railway car. His arrest formed the basis of a Supreme Court challenge to the Louisiana Separate Car Act, a state law that segregated black and white people while riding the train. The Court’s decision, four years later, enshrined in American law the "separate but equal" doctrine. It wasn’t until 60 years later, in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, that the doctrine of “separate but equal” was repudiated by the Court.
Tonight at 7 p.m. Steve will be discussing his book with Judge Robert M. Bell, the former chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. The event is part of the Open Society Institute's "Talking About Race" series and will be held at the Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore. For more details about tonight's event, click here.
Tom's conversation with Steve Luxenberg was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page. Watch the video here.